Bovine Brigade - Cows, Cattle
Cows, cattle are a common type of large domesticated animals. There exists approximately 1.4 billion cattle in the world. Some cultures revere the cow as religiously sacred and protected species. Cattle are valuable to human civilization as livestock for meat and dairy foods. Cattle bread for labor include Oxen and bulls which assist farmers by pulling carts, wagons and field plows and other farm implements. Cattle are also valuable for their hides of leather for clothing products such as shoes, handbags, furniture leather and clothing. Cow manuer or dung may be utilized as a source of fertilizer and fuel.
The word "cattle" originally meant movable personal property as cattle were considered free-roaming economic property of the land as "chattel" which means "a unit of personal property." Cattle are considered to be one of the oldest forms of wealth. Cattle rustling or raiding is also considered the oldest form of theft. "Wild cattle" refers to feral cattle or undomesticated species of the bovine. Generally the modern meaning of the term "cattle" relates to the domesticated variety.
Cattle have cloven hooves and most breeds have horns, which range in size from the wide-spread Texas Longhorn to the small bump of a scur, which is incompletely developed horn growth. Some genetic selection has resulted in hornless cattle (polled) becoming popular choices over the horned species.
Cattle have one stomach with four compartments, the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The rumen is the largest stomach compartment. Contrary to mythology, cattle sleep lying down and not standing up. Cow-tipping is an urban legend with no basis in fact.
Cattle, chickens and other domesticated animals provide rich heritage and cultural signifigance in folk art. In heraldry, male cattle, or bulls, are typically represented on shields and family crests.
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